New paradigm for tumor theranostic methodology using bacteria-based microrobot

Sci Rep. 2013 Dec 2;3:3394. doi: 10.1038/srep03394.


We propose a bacteria-based microrobot (bacteriobot) based on a new fusion paradigm for theranostic activities against solid tumors. We develop a bacteriobot using the strong attachment of bacteria to Cy5.5-coated polystyrene microbeads due to the high-affinity interaction between biotin and streptavidin. The chemotactic responses of the bacteria and the bacteriobots to the concentration gradients of lysates or spheroids of solid tumors can be detected as the migration of the bacteria and/or the bacteriobots out of the central region toward the side regions in a chemotactic microfluidic chamber. The bacteriobots showed higher migration velocity toward tumor cell lysates or spheroids than toward normal cells. In addition, when only the bacteriobots were injected to the CT-26 tumor mouse model, Cy5.5 signal was detected from the tumor site of the mouse model. In-vitro and in-vivo tests verified that the bacteriobots had chemotactic motility and tumor targeting ability. The new microrobot paradigm in which bacteria act as microactuators and microsensors to deliver microstructures to tumors can be considered a new theranostic methodology for targeting and treating solid tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Carbocyanines / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Mice
  • Microspheres
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Polystyrenes / metabolism
  • Robotics / methods
  • Streptavidin / metabolism


  • CY5.5 cyanine dye
  • Carbocyanines
  • Polystyrenes
  • Biotin
  • Streptavidin